How does a non-Sri Vaishnava get initiated into Sri Vaishnavism? What Sri Vaishnava Acharyas are there in the world today who initiate people?


1 Answer 1


To be initiated into Sri Vaishnavism you need to do Samashrayanam, AKA Panchasamskaram, a ritual which among other things involves the branding of the shoulders with symbols of Vishnu’s Shankha and Chakra. Here is a video of the ritual. This ritual can be performed with any Sri Vaishnava Acharya. Here is a list of Sri Vaishnava Acharyas along with their websites. Note that some of them are affiliated with Mathams, large organizations, whereas others are Swayamacharya people who only have a small Thirumaligai or sacred house of residence.



  1. Vanamamalai Matham Jeeyar, affiliated with Vanamamalai Matham
  2. Chinna Jeeyar Swami, affiliated with Ubhaya Vedantacharya Peetham
  3. Sri Ranga Narayana Jeeyar, affiliated with Sri Ranga Narayana Jeeyar Matham in Sri Rangam, which was founded by Kuranarayana Jeeyar, son of Ramanujacharya’s cousin Siriya Govinda Perumal
  4. Thirukurungudi Jeeyar, affiliated with Thiru Jeeyar Mutt in Thirukurungudi
  5. Tirupati Periya Jeeyar, affiliated with Tirupati Periya Jeeyar Mutt


  1. Mudaliandan Swami, who is affiliated with Mudhaliandan Thirumaligai
  2. Doddacharya Swami, who is affiliated with Periyappangar Thirumaligai
  3. Koil Kandhadai Annan Swami, who is affiliated with Koil Kandhadai Annan Thirumaligai
  4. Dasarathi Swami, affiliated with Thirumani Thirumaligai
  5. Appan Swami, who is affiliated with Koil Kandhadai Appan Thirumaligai
  6. Bhavanachariar Swami, who is affiliated with Koil Kandhadai Bhavanachariar Thirumaligai
  7. Shuddhasattvam Annan Swami, who is affiliated with Koil Kandhadai Shuddhasattvam Sirupuliyur Annan Thirumaligai
  8. Elayavilli Achan Swami, who is affiliated with Koil Kandhadai Elayavilli Varadhachariar Thirumaligai



  1. Ahobilam Matham Jeeyar, affiliated with Ahobilam Matham
  2. Parakala Matham Jeeyar, affiliated with Parakala Matham
  3. Sri Rangam Andavan, affiliated with a Sri Rangam Andavan Ashramam
  4. Poundarikapuram Andavan, affiliated with Poundarikapuram Andavan Ashramam
  5. Sri Krishna Desika Jeeyar Swami, affiliated with Sri Krishna Ashram


  1. Karunakarachariar Swami, who is affiliated with Nadadur Ammal Thirumaligai
  2. Navalpakkam Swami, who is affiliated with Navalpakkam Thathachariar Thirumaligai

EDIT: Regarding Thenkalais and Vadakalais, every Jeeyar is either a Thenkalai or a Vadakalai. So by choosing to receive Samashrayanam from a particular Jeeyar, a person is joining the sub-sect of Sri Vaishnavism that that Jeeyar belongs to.

  • I think OP also wanted to know about choosing between Thenakalai and Vadakalai. So, how about including information regarding it? e.g 1.once should follow his parents/kula i.e tradition or if not applied 2.one may choose according to his/her inclination.
    – Pandya
    Aug 11, 2018 at 15:07
  • Thank you all on answers and help.. I am highly attracted to adoring Sri Narayana. So I am looking for a guru to get initiation propriety. Does any of Vadakalai gurus come to Europe ? Aug 11, 2018 at 15:52
  • @ArneaHaseljic No, Vadakalai Jeeyars (Acharyas) usually never leave India (although there's one in America). So you'd have to go to South India to receive initiation from them. And by the way, Vadakalai Jeeyars have people perform two rituals, Samashrayanam which I described above, and then another ritual called Bharanyasam in which you surrender to Vishnu. Aug 11, 2018 at 15:55
  • Does anyone can join to take initiation in Vedakalai no matter on caste system? pls? I am just an soul who want to surrender to Sri Narayana is it possible for Initiation? Aug 11, 2018 at 15:59
  • @ArneaHaseljic Yes, everyone is eligible for Samashrayanam (and Bharanyasam) regardless of caste, gender, etc. Aug 11, 2018 at 16:00

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